Winner: Anthony Atkinson, CBRE
Sponsored by: BAM FM
This year’s winning newcomer is a young person with an interest in many of the issues set to affect the sector over the coming years.
In his short career to date, 25-year old Anthony Atkinson has amassed a range of experience with multiple firms via internships and full-time roles. In so doing he has showcased a desire to work with people and tangible assets, developing longer-term relationships with clients.
Anthony selected a career in property and facilities management when aged just 15, going on to complete a degree in real estate management at Oxford Brookes University.
Internships with JLL, Kier Property and Fisher German followed, and after graduating, Anthony joined Lambert Smith Hampton in its property management department. Today Anthony works for CBRE on its Future Leaders programme, designed to fast-track candidates to senior leadership level in two years. Having self-funded his own ILM 5 qualification he will soon start the IWFM Level 3 Certificate in Facilities Management, hoping then to extend this to the diploma after completion.
Looking to the sector’s future
Technology and sustainability are the two areas in which Anthony has a particular interest. And evidence of Anthony’s enthusiasm to oversee change is easy to find.
By way of example, in his first week at CBRE Anthony re-shot the firm’s introductory video for internal software so that it would better benefit the life of new starters at CBRE, a move seen as representing ‘excellent commitment’ to CBRE’s RISE (Respect, Integrity, Service, Excellence) values’.
He has since:
- created a series of supplier performance surveys
- created Pathway, a platform for CBRE personnel to log jobs add key stakeholders and see projects through to completion
- altered the graduate scheme to improve efficiency and learning opportunities
- rewritten CBRE’s graduate scheme to encourage collaboration and mentoring.
He has also engaged in the Metaverse, the virtual environments that can be accessed in VR using Oculus Quest devices.
‘Virtual offices aren’t a new concept, corporations have been working virtually via Skype since 2003,’ Anthony explains. ‘The next stage, supposedly, is from virtual 2D meetings to an entire office which the user moves around in and interacts with. That’s what I’ve created, in two forms.’
The first is a virtual office in the world’s most popular Metaverse, Decentraland. And then, interestingly from an FM point of view, he has created a custom virtual VR office using 3D development platform Unity. This office has meeting rooms, department portals and a range of functionality, some of which has never existed before. ‘My stance is that remote/virtual working will drastically alter the FM sector,’ he explains.
Anthony has also spent time highlighting the opportunities of a career in the profession by visiting schools, including UTC College Heathrow and Southbank University Academy, to promote workplace and facilities management as a career.
In his own words
‘The career defining role I’d create for myself, in a perfect world, would be as CBRE’s workplace technology and innovation leader, offering a suite of cutting-edge technologies to clients to improve their business operations and facilities interactions.
‘My aspirations are subject to change. I’m 25 and the landscape of workplace and facilities management is undergoing a period of change. Working for a technology client has been rewarding. I’d like to continue working with large scale clients, as there’s a lot of excellent learning to capture which may not be as prevalent in a central function.’